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October 2016
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West Ham v Arsenal Sat 9 April – The Match Officials. Has the ref learned his script?

by Andrew Crawshaw

Following the review of Mr Clattenberg in the Everton v Arsenal game here is a revised

Table of Shame

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 1 41
Red Cards 1 12
Penalties 3 28
Goals 0 11
Total 5 92
Possible Cost in Points 0 25

No further cost in points, but two more added to the total number of wrong Important Decisions (second yellow cards, red cards, penalties and goals) favouring our opponents.

The table is based on 31 games so the average against us is still three per game and we continue our trend of winning games where there are two or fewer of these games against us.  Mr Clattenberg got an overall weighted score of 43% and his two wrong Important Decisions were in Minute 34 when he failed to award Alexis a penalty despite there being not one but two clear fouls on him firstly by Besic and then by Funes.  In min 81 Funes should have had a second yellow card for a foul on Giroud.

Here is the updated Wall of Shame

Ref Game Weighted Score Bias against (h/a) Link to Ref Review
Craig Pawson Stoke v Arsenal 34 5/95 Stoke – Arsenal
Lee Mason Arsenal v Southampton 34 80/20 Arsenal v Southampton
Robert Madley Arsenal v Swansea 38 93/7 Arsenal – Swansea
Mike Dean Chelsea v Arsenal 41 5/95 Chelsea – Arsenal
Martin Atkinson * Arsenal v Spurs 41 82/18 Arsenal – Tottenham
Mark Clattenburg * West Brom v Arsenal 42 9/91 West Brom v Arsenal
Mark Clattenburg * Everton Arsenal 43 6/94 Everton v Arsenal
Anthony Taylor * Arsenal v Newcastle 48 9/91 Arsenal – Newcastle
Jonathan Moss Southampton v Arsenal 49 22/78 Southampton v Arsenal

NB Atkinson, Clattenberg and Taylor are all FIFA Accredited and we should expect them to be getting scores above 80%, not below 50%

An item of Refereeing News:-

Stuart Attwell and Paul Tierney have been promoted to the Select Group of Referees for next season after “impressing with consistent refereeing performances”.  Both have been appointed as referees in the Premier League on just four occasions this season, none of them involving Arsenal.  I still include them in the ‘Makeweights’ included to put a gloss on the actual numbers of referees involved in Pl Matches.

On to Saturday

  • Referee – Craig Pawson
  • Assistants – L Betts and D Cann
  • Fourth Official – J Moss

Our first four time referee this year and all for away games.  He has both the highest and lowest rated scores we have recorded this year.

Ref Review: Leicester – Arsenal, good performance from the ref

84% Overall weighted score and no wrong Important Decisions.  If only it were always like this (but then I would have to find something else to write about).

Ref Review: Stoke – Arsenal: who is that voice whispering in my ear….?

Here he was accompanied by Mike Dean as Fourth Official and his resulting performance was as different as chalk is to cheese.

34% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 5/95 and no fewer than 8 wrong Important Decisions against Arsenal Penalties in minutes 51 and 52 for fouls on Giroud and Walcott, and 6 not given second yellow cards; Wollscheid in Min52 for foul on Walcott, Shawcross in Min 58 for a foul on Giroud, Pieters on four occasions – Min 62 for a dive, Min 71 foul on Campbell, Min 80 another foul on Campbell and Min 90+1 for another foul on Campbell.  Awful refereeing that certainly cost us two points.

Ref Review: MU – Arsenal: again no penalty for Arsenal

Still with Mike Dean monitoring his progress as Fourth Official

64% overall,bias against the two teams 3/97, and four wrong Important Decisions two relating to an incident at the end of the first half when Rashford deliberalely handled the ball to prevent an Arsenal goal.  Should have been a penalty and sending off – neither were given.  In the second half United should have been reduced to 9 men in Min 70 when Herrera was correctly given a yellow card however it should have been his secondhis first should have come in Min 43.  The same player was also excused a two footed lunge on Sanchez in Min 75.  Three points robbed by the referee and his team.

Regarding the Assistants

I have a single flag this year against Mr Betts in the home game v Enited game under Mr Taylor for failing to flag Rooney offside in Min 33.  I have nothing noted against Mr Cann.

Last Season 2014-15 we had Mr Pawson twice, once at home and once away (exactly as it should be with all referees) with two wins.

Untold Referee Review : Arsenal – Burnley

72% Overall,bias against the two teams 86/14 and two wrong Important Decisions both relating to an incident in Min 20 when Boyd deliberately handled the ball to prevent a goal.  Should have been both a Sending off and a penalty but neither given.

REF REVIEW Southampton – Arsenal

78% overall score, bias against the two teams 14/86 and again two wrong Important Decisions, Min 22 Wanyama should have had a second yellow card for a foul on Alexis (he had been excused a booking in Min 9 for another foul on Alexis; in Min 66 Gardos was only given a yellow card for a last man foul, it should have been red.

West Ham have had Mr Pawson only once before this season, their 2 – 2 away draw at Liverpool, I have no review of that game.

A quick look at our main title rivals.

Leicester are away to Sunderland with Anthony Taylor in charge.  Whilst Sunderland could really do with a win in their hopes to avoid relegation, I really can’t see Mr Taylor allowing anything other than a Leicester win; his three Leicester games so far this year are all away wins (2 – 1 at West Ham, 3 – 2 at West Brom and 3 – 1 against Man City).

WEST HAM VS LEICESTER CITY – Premier League 15/16 Nothing wrong with any of the goals but how was the Leicester keeper still on the pitch at the end of the first half, surely a penalty and red card.

I can’t find a sensible video highlight for the West Brom v Leicester game.

Manchester City vs Leicester City 1-3 All Goals & Highlights (EPL 2016) Make up your own minds regarding the free kick to City just outside the penalty area and was Huth climbing on the defender before heading his goal?

Spurs are away at United with Mike Dean in charge.  Both teams need the three points for the win, the best result from our perspective would be a draw.  I think this one could well be a home win, but Dean is capable of tilting it either way depending on his orders.

Man City are at home to West Brom with Mike Jones as referee.  As near a home ‘banker’ as you will ever get.  West Brom are comfortably in mid-table and completely safe from relegation, City shouldn’t need any assistance from the referee for this one.


  1. At the beginning of the season I had hopes that Mr Pawson might be that rare person a good and relatively un-biased referee (at least in terms of the Important Decisions).  His 84 % overall score against Leicester showed that he is capable of those sorts of performance.
  2. This clearly did not fit into the plans of his masters at the PGMO and his next two games have been under the watchful eye of a suitable mentor in the form of Mike Dean.  Twelve wrong Important Decisions against Arsenal in those two games and overall scores of 34 and 64%.  The bias in decisions against Arsenal was also through the roof at 95 and 97%.
  3. We will see on Saturday if he has learned the script, or if he is the decent referee that we say at Leicester.  Whilst I hope for the latter I expect the former.
  4. In either case don’t expect to see a penalty for Arsenal or a West Ham player sent off even for a deliberate handball to stop a goal.
  5. West Ham will undoubtably be allowed pretty much Carte Blanche to assault our players with impunity, whilst our players will be penalised for breathing on those from West Ham.
  6. Look out for the old ‘phantom foul’ routine enabling West Ham to put in a long ball into our Penalty area trying to cause panic and confusion.  I hope that Cech is fit and able to start as he is likely to be better than Ospina in that area of goalkeeping.


Untold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal – all are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle.  The books are

  • The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
  • Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace.  By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
  • Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football.  By Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews.
  • Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
  • The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal by Mark Andrews.

You can find details of all five on our new Arsenal Books page

From the anniversary files on the home page…

  • 8 April 1978: Arsenal 3 Orient 0.  13th FA Cup semi final, played at Stamford Bridge.  Macdonald scored two, continuing his run of scoring in each round.  Rix got the other.
  • 8 April 1987: In Graham’s first season WHU 3 Arsenal 1 made it 10 without a victory.  It did however end the even worse run of six games without scoring.  Arsenal’s goal was a penalty from Martin Hayes.

14 comments to West Ham v Arsenal Sat 9 April – The Match Officials. Has the ref learned his script?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Arsenal are still a threat, a win tomorrow in the early game would put others perhaps more favoured under pressure we know exactly what the ref is going to try tomorrow. Watch out for phantom Payet free kicks.
    Hopefully, as with the recent Leicester game, the players will be good enough to overcome a good team….and ref.
    An early goal or two for us would be nice.

  • Andrew Crawshaw


    Agreed, an early goal (or preferably two) would be the best way to remove the referee from the equation.

  • Rich

    Is Moss definitely the fourth official?

    He was for the Everton game, prompting me to ask in the review whether the big hitters have been 4th officials for each of the worst performances (according to wall of shame) this year. Given how few refs there are it must be relatively unusual to be lucky enough to get one of the bigger names any given game week as 4th official.


    Just saw a fun fact on twitter, by the way.

    BT sport have, counting tomorrow, had us on that 12.45 slot 14 times since winning the rights. Our home record is ok- 50% win, 50% draw. Only prob is that only 2 of the 14 have been home matches.

    Quite an unusual pattern to occur randomly.

  • Mandy Dodd

    and quite often on the 12.45 slot soon after a tough ECL game.
    But it seems the Execs in the club are quite happy to go along with that…and maybe other things

  • Mandy Dodd

    the green shoots of the media realising there are issues with referees , and the man who heads them?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I hadn’t checked the numbers of appearances for our fourth officials. In descending order we have had
    4 times – R Madley, and J Moss
    3 times – R East
    2 Times – A Marriner, ATaylor, C Pawson, K Friend, M Dean, M Oliver, and N Swarbrick
    Once – A Davies, D Deadman, J Linnington, J Simpson, K Stroud, S Attwell and S Martin
    To be honest, not sure if that tells us anything very much.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Not related to the post but a reminder that the U21s have a match tonight against Wolves at the Emirates. Jack Wilshere and Thomas Rosicky are scheduled to play as part of their rehabilitation from injury. It is a match that we should win (and need to) in order to forward our prospect of automatic promotion to the top tier of U21 football.

    If you can’t get to the Emirates, it is being televised on Arsenal Player which is a free service, log on via if you haven’t already done so.

    Unfortunately I can’t get to this one (being Grand-dad).


  • Jerry

    Great preview Andrew! Looks like my Monty Python name for Pawson is correct!

  • Rich

    Cheers Andrew

    What I was eager to know was on how many occasions we’d had one of the bigger hitters -Dean, Atkinson, Clattenberg, Oliver; Taylor, Pawson, Moss; Marriner; Mason- when things are at their worst, i.e the games at the top of the wall of shame.

    I looked it up when I realised how easy your links were to follow to the games in question.

    Dean, Pawson, Woolmer, Oliver, Marriner, Atwell, Moss, Steve Martin, Graham Scott.

    So nothing conclusive there, though there is the suggestion we often have one of the higher ranked officials doing 4th official duties on the bad days.

    Few doublers (i.e those making appearances as both a ref and 4th official on different bad days) on there,too, in Dean, Pawson and that man Moss (Can’t believe Southampton away is only 9th- 9th!- on the wall of shame. He was a disgrace that day)

    Anyway, a night off from all that to watch the u21s. Enjoy it all those watching.

  • Gord

    Now that is a nice first 8 minutes!


  • Gord

    Bielik, please stop doing that.


  • Rich

    Anyone watching youngsters. Wonderful football and infuriating stuff from the ref.

    We are so wrongheaded here about the role of a referee it is ridiculous. First twenty or so, superb football and no bad tackles.

    Inevitably, Newcastle begin to respond as good Brits are conditioned to when having a bad time against a superior team. Kicks and poor challenges of increasing strength and lateness. Ref does nothing. Doesn’t talk when he should, doesn’t give a free kick when he should. Totally fails to see what is happening and respond as he should by booking someone and having a word.

    Then, when there’s a sure booking, maybe a red (and we got one of them at a key time in our semi, remember)…he gives himself loads of time…and opts to have a word only.

    i am enjoying the brilliant football, honest, but this game has made it as clear as almost any senior one that we will always be at so much greater risk of injury from bad challenges than we should be.

    How can a country have such a stupid idea about what a referee’s job is?

    That’s the reward for a commitment to a type of football which, if mirrored by about half our big clubs, would guarantee a national side superior to any we’ve had in 50 years.

  • Mandy Dodd

    There is clearly a lot of resistance to wengers total football philosophy.
    This country is stuck in the hoof, kick and rush, bus parker, press press press game.
    No wonder the great Johan Cruyff scoffed at the suggestion of applying his managerial talents to such a primatial league.

  • Menace

    Early signs of smash by Carrol. Yellow card when a red would have been more appropriate.